The Poker Small Blind Predicament

If you happen to be a poker player, you must have found yourself facing situations repeatedly that you failed to understand. This is most probably the small blind predicament.

How people should deal with small blinds in limit poker really depends. Let us begin by defining the terms. In limit poker, two blind bets exist. The small blind is located one seat to the dealer’s left, while the big blind – which is double the small blind – can be found two seats to the dealer’s left.

Now, you are probably wondering when you should pass, call, or raise. Unfortunately, there aren’t any absolute solutions to these questions. You need to specify the exact kind of game, the exact held hands and the exact opponents that you face to get your ideal solution, but here are several basic things you should remember.

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Things to remember

1. It would usually be wrong for you to surrender and allow the big blind to win when it comes to Hold'em. If everybody passes and the small blind is up to you, you should always call, at the very least.


Calling would be the right thing to do since it focuses on the small blind’s overall value, which weighs in to your favor already. If you are playing Hold’em and there is a $50 big blind to your forced $25 small blind and everybody passes, a ton of hands would fold if you called for the entire $50.


However, almost every hand that you will fold loses less than that $25 on average, when done repeatedly. Therefore, you can now call for only $25, which is a good investment instead of calling for $50 all the time. But what if the opponent ends up raising, though? Well, you will still get a discount of 25% if you call. A total amount of $75 will have to be put in to call that big blind plus the raise, costing you $100, so the entered $25 already makes a huge difference. As a matter of fact, the majority of hands you would normally fold by putting in that $100 will be worth playing at a discount of 25%.


2. Whether raising is something you should do depends greatly on the amount of times opponents will pass. The greatest thing that could happen is you raise and they pass. If the game has a $10 blind, you can win it, plus your own $5 straight away.


This immediate $15 return is practically always more than the regular earnings that come with playing a lot of similar hands. However, the true question should be: how many times will big blinds surrender after your raise? If the rates lie at a minimum of 20%, you will be much better off if you raise with quite weak to almost strong hands. But if your opponents are highly aggressive and more likely to re-raise with average hands, you should not be as willing to raise with a weak hand.


3. If the opponents almost never surrender their big blinds, your primary incentive in raising to instantly take the pot would be gone and you have to consider simply calling with a weak or moderate hand. It would be recommended to pass with weaker hands than normal.


4. Your monetary reward will end up being more if you choose to call instead of raise big blinds that keep calling your bet. Trust me. If everything goes according to plan, your pot odds will be better if you call rather than raise.


5. If there are already other players in the pot, you should come in cheap in small blinds, which means that raising or re-raising should only happen very seldom. When playing against opponents who are active in Hold’em, it would be wrong to re-raise or raise with anything besides top quality pairs. One exception would be if the caller or raiser is already in a late position since this would indicate that the raise was due to something less than great. Now, the chance has arisen to assert yourself with a re-raise and freeze big blinds out of the entire pot. Anytime forfeited money can be added onto the pot, it should be taken into consideration.


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